Caitlin Rose #21 - Piledriver Waltz

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One pretty quick way to have a lynch mob after you is to cover an artist with a strong, loyal fan-base. I know this through first hand experience (though I was never the sort to go onto other message boards and write what basically is abuse), turn the clock back a dozen years or so and I followed Prince and Queen to unhealthy, borderline fanatical levels and often blindly supported their (sometimes) questionable ventures with little compromise for naysayers and certainly with no regard to covers versions (how dare once tread such fallow ground!).

I've since changed my outlook and matured a little (Brian and Roger's continual abuse of the 'Queen' name and Prince's continual Internet delusions, alongside broken promises in the NPGMC and Lotusflow3r campaigns certainly make breaking such connections easier) and I'm quite open to everything and everyone these days (as long as it's good, I jest, see Holly Miranda's breathtaking version of "I Love You, But I Don't Trust You Anymore" for a recent example of how to cover Prince well), so I've been amused to see developments over the past four or five hours with Arctic Monkey fans seemingly warming up their pitchforks for one of my favourite artists, Caitlin Rose. The reason is basic petulance, an artist 99% of them had not heard of yesterday has now covered 'their' band. The simple question to be answered it seems: Is the Caitlin Rose version of Alex Turner's (and later Arctic Monkeys) "Piledriver Waltz" that bad?

(I'm biased) No, no it's not. It's not bad at all, in fact it's great, really great. Alex Turner undeniably has great lyrical prose though I have to admit that I'm not a big Arctic Monkeys fan (the first album had more than its few moments) but the track is undoubtedly a good number and the instant Caitlin's vocals enter I'm transfixed. It's been a while since I've heard them I'll be honest, I've not listened to my favourite artist of 2010 and most of 2011 much recently but her luxurious voice, able to effortlessly match the songs numerous key changes from wistful, heartfelt memories, to bluesy charm to full on pop chanteuse and back again is to simply to die for, with its long slide guitar outro there is a real country spin to the track too, as you'd probably expect from one of country-rock's modern day stars. I love the video too, I'm sure if you've seen Caitlin perform live you'd similarly testify to her charismatic stage presence, full of wit and charm, it's shown in abundance here dressed as a rodeo clown.

"Piledriver Waltz" is available on 7" vinyl this Saturday April 21st as part of Record Store Day. Consider it item number one on my list. Though, fear not Arctic Monkeys die-hards, the B-side is only another AM track, "Love Is A Laserquest" but as Caitlin (I quote) "is cute like baby koala" we're all ok now, aren't we? Good. Phew.